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Problems for Logical Pluralism

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I argue that Beall and Restall's logical pluralism fails. Beall–Restall pluralism is the claim that there are different, equally correct logical consequence relations in a single language. Their position fails for two, related, reasons: first, it relies on an unmotivated conception of the ‘settled core’ of consequence: they believe that truth-preservation, necessity, formality and normativity are ‘settled’ features of logical consequence and that any relation satisfying these criteria is a logical consequence relation. I consider historical evidence and argue that their position relies on an unmotivated conception of the settled features of logical consequence. There are many features that are just as settled but which are inconsistent with pluralism. Second, I argue that Beall–Restall pluralism fails to hold in a single language with a single selection of logical constants, which they require for the position to be distinct from Carnap's. I consider various ways in which Beall and Restall can resist this meaning variance, particularly for negation, but argue that the strongest way relies on an unmotivated conception of the settled features of the logical constants.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: St. John's College, Cambridge,CB2 1TP, UK

Publication date: May 1, 2013

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